Dental anxiety is the fear of receiving dental care. Dental anxiety is very common among children, especially those who have not had any prior dental experiences. Here are some tips for getting your kids accustomed to visiting the dentist at a young age:
- When children are old enough for their first dental visit, it’s important to start making them feel comfortable in the dental office right away. It might seem counterintuitive that having a child’s first checkup is a scary and intimidating experience that might make them avoid the dentist in the future, but the opposite is actually true! Having a positive first experience with the dentist can actually reduce the chances that your child will experience anxiety about going to the dentist in later years.
- Instilling the importance of great oral health in children is one of the best things you can do to help them avoid problems with their teeth and gums as they grow up.
- Schedule appointments while they are already in a good mood, such as after nap time or after they had a good meal.
- Bring their favorite stuffed animal or blanket to the appointment so that they have something to hold on to for comfort.
- If a child is particularly nervous at the dentist’s office, it might be a good idea to let them sit on a parent’s lap instead of having them sit in the dental chair alone.
- Let them bring a favorite toy or book from home that they can read during the appointment. Having a familiar object to keep them occupied during difficult times can help them feel more at ease.
- Offer praise and encouragement to your kids after a positive dental visit so that they know you’re proud of them for doing a great job taking care of their teeth.
- Avoid negative talk about the dentist – if children hear you complaining about your own experiences at the dentist’s office, they may be more likely to have negative feelings about their own requests to see a dentist. It’s important for children to hear that their parents are excited about going to the dental office so that they can do the same.
- Children sense your anxiety, which can make whatever you’re feeling more real for them. Practice a good oral hygiene routine with your child to show them that visiting the dentist isn’t something to be feared. Showing them how fun it is to take care of your teeth from a young age will set them up for later visits to the dentist.
- When they really start needing to go to the dentist, read stories and watch videos online about dentists and teeth care for children so that they can become familiar and comfortable with the happenings at the dental office. You can also play games that involve going to the dentist – let your little one be the dentist while you play a patient. This will help them visualize what to expect in the future, easing their fears.
- Be sure to teach your children about the importance of oral health and why it’s so important to take care of them. Good oral habits will help ensure healthy teeth and gums for the rest of their life. Make sure you’re setting a good example for them!
Julita S Patil DDS Inc., located in Concord, CA, is equipped with the best dentists and modern technologies. To schedule an appointment with the dentist, call the dentist in Concord, CA, at (925) 689-2585 today.